Prince Edward Lodge No. 14
For many years the Lodge celebrated the Festival of Saint John the Evangelist on December 27 with the Installation of new Officers and a goose supper. In 1888 a Committee was appointed to arrange for entertainment for St. John’s Night. Clear reference to the supper/dinner did not appear in the Minutes until 1920 although the Lodge approved payment on January 6, 1892 of $23 “for supper”. In his History of the Lodge, M.W.Bro. Campbell stated that the first spread on St. John’s Night was in 1890. (Campbell, p.26) In 1932 the Lodge ended the problem of paying the deficit from the supper with Lodge funds. Henceforth all shortages were to be covered by those in attendance at the supper. Spouses also attended the suppers and in 1939 the Brethren were permitted to each invite one additional person to the Open Installation and supper. The tradition of having a goose supper followed by the Installation of new Officers continued until the late 1980’s when the goose supper was replaced with a light lunch. Section 21 of the Bye-Laws was amended in February 1998 to provide for the election of new Officers in November and the Installation on the first Regular Communication in December. The amendment did not preclude holding a Communication on St. John’s Night and accordingly the Worshipful Master elect for 1999, Bro. David Gauthier, arranged the traditional Goose Supper on December 27, 1998. Installation was held on St. John’s Night in 1999 but without the ‘Goose Supper’
The interest of the Brethren in holding an Open Installation appeared early in the Lodge’s history although it was unclear when the first such Communication was held. Permission of the Grand Master was sought in 1890 but he replied that he was not in favour of the concept. A motion for Open Installation was approved in the Lodge on December 2, 1891 and a Committee was appointed to invite the ladies. The Installation was held on December 28 but the Minutes are silent on any other details and on whether a Dispensation for Open Installation was obtained from Grand Lodge. In his History of the Lodge Brother Campbell established 1914 as the first Open Installation.
The St. John’s Night supper was not the only occasion when the Brethren showed their fondness for the banquet table. In 1967 the Lodge began the tradition of a Lobster Supper prior to the Regular Communication in June. The ladies were included for the first time in 1968. W.Bro. Elmer Paynter initiated the idea and actively supported the annual event by procuring the lobsters.
An Annual Ladies’ Night Supper has been held in the autumn and dates back to October 12, 1943 when a supper followed by entertainment was held in the Hall. The Brethren in charge of arranging the first supper were W.Bro. Harold Mayhew PM, W.Bro. Harold Bernard PM, W.Bro. Elton Woodside PM, W.Bro. Frank Bell PM and W.Bro. William Warren PM. The entertainment was arranged by W.Bro. Harland Found PM, W.Bro. Ernest Dunning PM and W.Bro. Harold Dunning PM. It was significant to note that the Lodge received a letter of thanks at the next Regular Communication from Rev. Herbert Buntain, the Presbyterian Minister at New London, who had been invited to the supper along with his mother. Rev. Buntain’s Application for Membership in Prince Edward Lodge was also received at the same Communication. (Minutes, November 3, 1943)